Tag Archives: French

Europe snow: Two die in French Alps trying to control avalanche as three German cross-country skiers killed

Europe snow: Two die in French Alps trying to control avalanche as three German cross-country skiers killedTwo ski resort workers have been killed in Morillon, a French Alps destination popular with Britons, by explosives they were using to spark an avalanche to keep the slopes safe for skiers. Their deaths came as three German cross-country skiers died and a fourth was reported missing following an avalanche in western Austria. The incident in Morillon occurred at around 8:30 am local time on Sunday as the workers were preparing the explosives at a height of 1,800 meters in the family resort in the Haut-Giffre valley. Police said it had been confirmed that they were killed by the explosion and did not die after being caught up in the avalanche the blast set off. They had been sent out to do their job in the Lanches sector of the resortbefore the ski slopes were opened to the public, after a night of heavy snowfall. Skiers had been warned that the risk of avalanche was at four on a scale of one to five. Setting off explosives, often dynamite, is a common technique used in ski resorts to spark avalanches that might otherwise happen when slopes are packed with skiers. Various methods are used, with some involving ski workers skiing to a spot above where experts believe the avalanche may take place, placing explosives there and later detonating them remotely. “The specialist pisteurs who are involved in securing the trails and roads from avalanches with explosive devices go through extensive training,” said Henry Schniewind from Henry’s Avalanche Talk, a website which offers advice and training for off-piste skiers. “Their job involves hazards from avalanche danger that most of us are aware of; the danger from explosives seems less apparent. Today’s tragedy is a reminder to us all about how brave these men and women are,” he told The Daily Telegraph. It was not immediately clear which avalanche control method was being used by the workers in Morillon, where a 21-year-old skier was killed by a falling tree earlier this month. The mountain gendarme unit from the town of Chamonix has been tasked with the investigation into their deaths and has sent officers to the scene, where they will work with rescue workers from the resorts of Flaine and Araches. The deaths reported in Austria were those of two men aged 32 and 36 and a third aged 56, all German cross-country skiers, who were found on Saturday evening, while a 28-year-old man still missing. The avalanche that killed them came after several days of heavy snowfall which saw the army called in to secure roads and buildings and help with a number of evacuations.



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French defence minister in Jordan to visit troops fighting IS

French defence minister in Jordan to visit troops fighting ISFrance’s defence minister arrived in Jordan on Monday to visit troops battling the Islamic State group, showing Paris’s determination to continue the fight after a shock US decision to withdraw from Syria. After a stopover in Amman, where Florence Parly is set to meet with Jordanian Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz, she is expected to visit the H5 airbase from which French fighter jets take off for sorties against the jihadists. The minister’s last-minute trip to Jordan comes on the heels of US President Donald Trump’s surprise decision in mid-December to pull out all 2,000 American troops stationed in Syria, saying “we’ve won” against IS.



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'My second family': French protesters band together for Christmas

'My second family': French protesters band together for ChristmasThe protests against President Emmanuel Macron may have eased in the run-up to Christmas, but dozens of demonstrators camped out at roundabouts across France are vowing to keep up the pressure, with no plans to head home for the holidays. Devilled eggs, foie gras and a traditional buche de Noel cake for dessert: “We wouldn’t have all this if we celebrated Christmas at home,” said Xavier, a 44-year-old at a roundabout in Somain, northern France.



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French city honors victims of Christmas market attack

French city honors victims of Christmas market attackPARIS (AP) — People filled a square in the French city of Strasbourg on Sunday to show respect and sympathy for the victims of last week's shooting attack near a famous Christmas market as the death toll rose to five.



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French 'yellow vests' protest in their thousands for fifth Saturday

French 'yellow vests' protest in their thousands for fifth SaturdayIn Paris, police were out in force to contain outbursts of violence. Police fired water cannon and teargas in the afternoon to disperse groups of protesters in sporadic, brief clashes with riot police on the Champs-Elysees and adjacent streets. Topless feminist activists braved the cold to face off with security forces, a few meters away from the Elysee Palace, the president’s residence.



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PHOTOS: French police kill suspect in Strasbourg Christmas market attack

PHOTOS: French police kill suspect in Strasbourg Christmas market attackThe gunman who killed three people at a Christmas market in Strasbourg was shot dead by French police on Thursday as the Islamic State jihadist group claimed him as one of its “soldiers”.



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French president to meet relatives of victims of Christmas market shooting

French president to meet relatives of victims of Christmas market shootingFrench President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Strasbourg Friday evening to pay his respects to the victims of a jihadist gunman who was himself later shot dead by police. Macron, who earlier in the day took part in a European Union summit in Brussels, was to meet with families of the victims and with police involved in the manhunt for 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt, a small-time criminal turned jihadist who went on a shooting spray Tuesday evening in Strasbourg’s famed Christmas market. Police finally caught up with him Thursday evening when he was killed after opening fire on a street police patrol.



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Gunman kills three people in French Christmas market, flees

Gunman kills three people in French Christmas market, fleesInterior Minister Christophe Castaner said the shooter had evaded a police dragnet and was on the run, raising concerns of a follow-up attack. “The government has raised its security threat to the highest level and is bolstering border controls,” Castaner told a late-night news conference. “We will also reinforce security at all Christmas markets to prevent copycat attacks.” With France still on high alert after a wave of attacks commissioned or inspired by Islamic State militants since early 2015, the counter-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation.



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Gunman kills at least two in French Christmas market and flees

Gunman kills at least two in French Christmas market and fleesOfficials said the gunman was known to security services, and the local prefecture said he was on an intelligence services watchlist.



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Attack at Christmas market in French city kills 3, wounds 12

Attack at Christmas market in French city kills 3, wounds 12STRASBOURG, France (AP) — A man who had been flagged as a possible extremist sprayed gunfire near the famous Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg on Tuesday, killing three people, wounding up to a dozen and sparking a massive manhunt when he got away. France immediately raised its terror alert level.



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